Vacancy: Caseworker

We are looking for a caseworker to join our Casework Team.

Responsible to: Senior Casework Manager
Hours of Work: 5 days a week (35 hours)
Salary: £26,000 to £28,000 per annum (depending on experience)
Holidays: 24.5 days plus bank holidays and Christmas closure.This is increasing to 28 days in 2018 plus bank holidays.
Location: Office in Victoria and Office in Queens Park
Duration: Permanent

To apply

Please download the following documents. Instructions on how to apply is found in the Cover letter and job description.

  1. Cover letter and job description
  2. Application form
  3. Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Closing date for applications: 9:00 a.m. on 21 September 2017, Thursday

First round interviews planned for: 25 September 2017, Monday and 26 Septhember 2017, Tuesday

Second round interviews planned for: 28 September 2017, Thursday

The post is subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure.

 

 

About the Casework Team
We operate out of offices in Victoria and Queens Park and provide advice surgeries in North and South Westminster. In 2016 the casework team recovered nearly £2m in social security payments for their clients.

Other Z2K projects
We manage a number of specialist projects, ensuring that we are reaching the most disadvantaged in our communities and at the same time we work to secure changes in public policy.  These projects include a highly successful private rental scheme, through which we support tenants into long term housing solutions; a complaints project, through which we expose faults in the processes relating to welfare benefits; a specialist tribunal service, to represent welfare benefits clients; and an audit of council tax support across London.

About the Role
You will contribute towards the provision of a practical and advisory service for low-income households who have difficulties in paying essential household expenditure or have other problems with the welfare benefits system and associated housing issues, such as the benefit cap.

You will manage your own specialist caseload and will advise and support volunteers who are not specialists in this area.

You will be supported by a highly skilled senior casework manager who has developed policies and a casework database system that enables all caseworkers to handle a heavy but manageable caseload.

You will have a significant role to play in a highly capable and experienced casework team, and at the same time you will work as part of a wider multi-disciplinary team and contribute to all our work, including policy and campaigning. This makes for a varied and exciting role.

About You
You will have gained experience of welfare benefits and/or homelessness advice work through voluntary or other paid experience.

You will have a commitment to working with communities who are highly disadvantaged and a passion for helping people to overcome homelessness and poverty.

You will have the ability to interview, advise, and work with service users empathetically, and have the willingness to try new tasks and support the wider team with policy work and online communication such as blogs and tweets.

From time to time you will be asked to work outside of usual working hours.

Main tasks

  • To provide, under the supervision of the senior casework manager, casework services to clients, including drop-in advice surgeries and representation at Social Security Tribunals in circumstances where legal aid is not available
  • To manage a varied caseload, recording outcomes and ensuring case work is completed and cases closed in a timely manner.
  • To work with the campaigning team on improving the practical and legal issues which operate unfairly on Z2K’s clients, including writing blog pieces or providing case studies for reports and articles in the press
  • To work with the team on the supervision and management of volunteer caseworkers including in the allocation of cases and the supervision of tasks
  • To work with the  senior casework manager on the improvement of casework processes
  • To contribute towards the training of volunteers.
  • Attend and contribute to regular casework and whole team meetings
  • All other relevant tasks as required

Essential Requirements

  • Proven (voluntary or paid) experience in casework practice in the social welfare or/and housing field
  • Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the welfare benefits system and current housing issues
  • A disciplined approach to record keeping and data protection
  • Empathy with households experiencing poverty, debt and homelessness
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • IT skills and reasonable numeracy
  • Experience in working as part of a team and willingness to work supportively
  • Experience of tribunal representation/advocacy
  • Ability to use own initiative, prioritise workload and manage own cases
  • Interest/experience in broader strategic litigation and/or policy work

Desirable Requirements

  • Law degree or other legal qualification
  • Teaching/training experience
  • Experience in operating a case management system
  • Fluency/competence in a relevant foreign language such as Arabic
  • Experience of/ability to run drop-in advice surgeries

Values

  • A genuine commitment to equal opportunities
  • A commitment to working in and contributing to the ethos of an anti-poverty charity
  • A commitment to supporting colleagues and working as a team